Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fighting the Fair Tax

I can sometimes understand when the American public gets duped because the truth is so hard to discover. The truth in Iraq is hard to find because it is so far away, and we have few ways of getting the unspun truth. Ditto Gitmo.

But how stupid do you have to be to fail to recognize that the estate tax only affects the super rich? Here's another smoking gun.

Eighteen families, including the owners of Nordstrom Inc., The Seattle Times Co., Mars Inc., Koch Industries Inc. and Wal-Mart Inc., that stand to save $71.6 billion in taxes are financing lobbying efforts to repeal the estate tax, according to a study by two groups.

Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy, which want to see estate tax rates increased to as high as 60 percent, said the families perpetrated a fraud on ordinary Americans by saying the levy constitutes an unfair "death tax." Only about 0.25 percent of Americans who die this year will leave an estate large enough to be taxed, the groups said.

The groups estimated the 18 families have spent as much as $500 million on lobbying efforts since 1994.

Republicans have fought the estate tax by renaming it the death tax. I say we take back the rhetorical upper hand by calling it the Fair Tax.

Read the story here.


Anonymous said...

Why do you keep on saying that people who are for getting rid of this tax are getting duped? Maybe they just don't think death is a taxable event. Regardless who it benefits the most.

Eric said...

First of all, they are getting duped because the people whining about this tax make it seem like the tax affects many more people than it actually does. Second of all, the phrase "death is a taxable event" is an interesting rhetorical ploy, but the reality is that what we are talking about is a transfer of wealth from one person to another, and that IS a taxable event, just like every other transfer of money from one person to another. Let's just be fair and tax every exchange. In fact, the estate tax is very generous, considering it doesn't kick in until the inherited amount is well into the high six figures.